Human and truck barricade stop the Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival parade along Real St., Tacloban City. Photo by Wen Ruiz Soledad.

The Tacloban Fiesta is finally over leaving everyone with mixed feelings about the various activities held during the last few days of the month of June (Tacloban Fiesta is June 29 & 30 but fiesta activities start as early on the 2nd week of June till the 1st week of July.)

Foremost in the minds of most was the boo-boo last June 27, 2011 when the City government barricaded and blocked this year’s Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival parade from proceeding along its traditional route around the city. They were implementing a traffic ordinance, city officials say, despite a TRO issued by the court on the implementation of the new Sangyaw ordinance making Sangyaw as the only official festival for the Tacloban Fiesta celebration. The Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival – having been around for some 25 years and enjoyed by many for so long a time – was, in effect, “banned.” But not without a collective show of disappointment and protest by many Taclobanons and guests alike.

It’s always risky business when you try to legislate tradition, I said. The common wish of all for next year is for a unified, harmonious celebration of the Tacloban Fiesta honoring Sto. Ñiño and letting be existing traditional fiesta festivals, sans all political innuendoes. Or a joint, super extravaganza fiesta festival, why not? But this could be plain wishful thinking, I’m afraid, unless real change happens in the minds of city officials and they’re able rise above personal pride and parochial ways of thinking.

Not to forget: at the end of that day, general Public Interest and value of the Greater Good were thrown out of the window leaving fiesta revelers holding on to a repugnant end of the deal. Tsk tsk tsk. Talk about service to the people!

Photos courtesy of Wen Ruiz Soledad

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